A bladder washout (also known as bladder irrigation) is a procedure that allows you to “flush” your bladder with clean water in order to clear a blocked catheter. The procedure can be performed on yourself if you are able, or by another person; the preparation and procedure are the same.
If you experience any pain during this procedure you should stop immediately and seek medical assistance.
If you are unable to clear your catheter after performing this procedure it is recommended that you change your catheter as there is a risk of introducing bacteria into your bladder.
- Clean/Sterile water (boiled water that has been allowed to cool to room temperature)
- 50mL catheter syringe
- Alcohol/antiseptic wipes
- Soap and water/hand sanitiser
- clean container (bowl/jug)
- Bluey/clean towel.
- Wash/sanitise hands
- Pour approximately 100mL of clean water into one of the containers
- Draw approximately 50mL of water into syringe and place on a clean surface
- Place bluey/towel under the connection between your catheter and drainage bag
- Use alcohol swab/antiseptic wipe to clean the connection between catheter and drainage bag (ensure to clean several centimetres above and below the connection)
- Disconnect drainage bag from catheter
- Make sure the tip of the tubing doesn’t touch anything while it is disconnected (you may wish to use a new drainage bag
- Insert the syringe tip into the catheter and gently inject the water
- If you feel resistance then it is best to change your catheter
- Remove the catheter tip and connect the drainage bag
- You should expect to see urine flowing into the bag
- If there is no urine flow after the washout then it is best to change your catheter.
- Keep a close eye on your urine drainage and change your catheter if it becomes blocked again
- Increase the amount of fluids you drink to help flush out your bladder
- If you are having frequent blockages, speak to your doctor or urology nurse as you may need to review your bladder management and/or catheter change schedule.